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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Herod as a Composite Character in Luke-Acts
Dicken, Frank

TŁbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014 pp. xii + 210. $112.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2/375

Description: Frank Dicken offers a new perspective on the three rulers who appear in Luke-Acts with the name ""Herod"", contending that in light of their similar narrative depictions they may be construed as a composite character, i.e., a single character in the narrative. Viewing the Lukan Herods alongside other composite characters in Jewish and early Christian literature, the author then compares and contrasts the portrayal of the Herods in Luke-Acts with what is known about the Herods historically. Thereby he highlights two unique features - the title ""King of Judaea"" at Luke 1:5 and the name ""Herod"" for Agrippa I in Acts 12 - that result in construing the Herods as a composite. A reading of Luke-Acts focusing on each passage in which composite ""Herod"" appears demonstrates that understanding ""Herod"" as a single character is possible. Finally, Frank Dicken examines the characterization of composite ""Herod"" as an antagonist who embodies satanic opposition toward the spread of the gospel in the Lukan narrative.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Luke, Acts, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches

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Review by Alexander P. Thompson
Published 3/22/2018
Citation: Alexander P. Thompson, review of Frank Dicken, Herod as a Composite Character in Luke-Acts, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2018).

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